Too many (or two many) things to write about

So, first and foremost – I’m taking part in an excellent event, called Fear of the Dark, organised by the lovely James Burt. He’s put together some information about the event, and I can’t do better than give it to you verbatim (as it were): Fear of the Dark is a special one-off spoken word night on Thursday 29 October 2009 at Brighton’s Marlborough Theatre. Beginning in a brightly lit theatre, the lights will fade with each successive act until the final act takes place in near-complete darkness.

The night is inspired by an old Sussex tradition of telling stories in the nights leading up to Halloween. It was said that the best stories would bring luck, with the ghosts leaving gifts for the tellers. Fear of the Dark will include strange and disturbing performances to amuse and entertain, as well as cake, apple-bobbing and a musical interlude.

• Glue Gun ‘91, have recently held a series of sell-out nights above the Victory Pub, featuring music, poetry, papier-mâché and live cake-making. They are also appearing as part of Brighton’s White Night event on 24 October.
• James Burt, one of the performers at Fear of the Dark, is a regular at Brighton’s spoken word nights and has appeared several times at literary event Short Fuse, as well as at Tight Lip and Sparks.
• Kay Sexton is a professional writer and blogger. In the five years she has been writing, Kay Sexton’s fiction has been chosen for over thirty anthologies. In 2008 she was commissioned to write a short story broadcast on British national radio.
• Bernadette Cremin is a well-known poet, whose book Speechless was published by Waterloo Press. She has an album due for release soon and recently completed a poetry tour of Ireland.

Tickets are £5 or £4 for concessions. They are available on the night or in advance from the Marlborough Theatre or from Eventbrite.

Okay, so the only claim I will make for myself here is that if you come along, you will see me as nobody has ever seen me before. I can laud my fellow participants though, because James is a great reader and Bernadette is simply wonderful – not to be missed. Glue Gun I know not, but look forward to with fear, trembling and a certain amount of excitement. Please do come along, and make it a thrilling night.

Writing for clients. What a nightmare October has been in some respects. I did actually break down and bleat about client stupidity on Facebook, but I didn’t even cover the half of it. This past two weeks has been notable for the varying quality of client responses to my input. Usually my business clients are calm and simple, while my fiction clients are much more demanding (perhaps because they care more, perhaps because words are their business as much as mine) but this month has been an object lesson in not assuming that the past can tell the future.

I’m working with (currently unpublished) crime writer Phil McCumskey and he couldn’t be easier to get along with, nor more fun. Not that he is going to agree with everything I say, but he’s determined to make his novel as good as it can get, and so we’re definitely working to the same end.

My latest business client (who has to be nameless, for legal reasons) is a nightmare. I edited a three thousand word document down to sixteen hundred words and he returned it to me with every it’s that I’d corrected in it’s [sic] content reinstated. I explained that it’s is an abbreviation for it is, not a sign that something belongs to ‘it’. His reply was unconvinced.

But Saturday’s experience was the pit of my editorial experience to date. Said client, who is a ‘visual person’ (his words) texted me to suggest that as the appearance of his website was all important, he’d like me to ‘harmonise’ the usage of there and their as the page in question would look a lot better that way. Indeed it would – but it wouldn’t make any sense!

I pointed out that if he wants to win a client base, telling them that there image is safe in his hands [sic] is not a way to inspire confidence. ‘Y not’ he texted. I think he meant ‘Y not?’ and replied on that basis that somebody who doesn’t take care of the words they use to describe themselves won’t look as if they are likely to take care of the impression they create of their clients. I expected to get another ‘Y not’ but there was a long silence – a weekend long silence, in fact, until this morning when my client’s business partner texted me to say that from now on, he’d be approving my work as the ‘visual person’ didn’t get the point of text.

Fair enough, and I wouldn’t have taken him on as a client if his work – in his chosen field – wasn’t really good, but I wonder who’s writing his contracts and whether he’s as casual about there [sic] wording as he is about the internet face he presents to the world?

That’s Monty, hiding behind the kitchen bin. His sister, formerly (or formally?) Toutou, has been renamed Morgan. She doesn’t seem to mind.


  1. Emsbabee
    27th October 2009

    I think the fear of a live performance would have me imploding long before getting anywhere near the stage, so I salute you madam! Best of luck.

  2. townmouse
    30th October 2009

    Okaaaaay … your ‘visual person’ client actually explains a lot about the web. Wow. Am speechless, and trust me, that never happens.


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